So. WTF happened with the booing last night at Arrowhead?

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Chiefs fans from our victory parade. // Photo Zach Bauman

Thursday was going to be a night for celebration. Some normalcy was going to happen when the clock struck 7:20 p.m. Families and friends across the city were huddling around televisions, waiting for this very night. Some even took the journey to go out and watch it in public with social distancing efforts intact.

It’s been seven months and eight days since the Kansas City Chiefs played a meaningful game. There would be fewer fans at this one, but the vibes around the city and in the parking lot made it feel sold out.

The city was going to see its coveted football team show off the new Super Bowl banner. Not long ago, players and staff received their championship rings in a ceremony held at the stadium.

Players also coordinated with each other ways to show their support for the countless injustices going on in this country. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes and safety Tyrann Mathieu are notable names that have used their voice to spread awareness. The duo also wore shirts that said “vote” on the front.

What they planned had the Chiefs and the Houston Texans locking arms in unity for a moment of silence. Nothing too controversial. Everyone can behind people from different backgrounds coming together for a common cause.

Except they can’t.

“Fans” that paid nearly $400 for tickets booed during the moment. On national television. Audibly. With nothing significant competing against it on cable.

It wasn’t during the national anthem. It wasn’t even a protest. Just people with platforms using what their talents gave them to advocate for a better world. And people booed it.

Imagine booing unity.

So. What the fuck happened here?

On face value, it appeared to most of the country that our fanbase was boo’ing the concept of coming together to support one another. But in the last 24 hours, reports from those in attendance have been all over the place. Such is the mass swath of information one can extract from social media of those at the game.

Some users were photographing and shaming non-mask wearing attendees (in violation of Arrowhead rules) who were shouting “Leave politics out of sports!” or some variation during the silence. Texas also chose to remain in their locker room and skip the National Anthem entirely, which was a cowardly move on a few levels.

Some fans suggested the yelling was simply a reaction to the opponent team taking the field. Still others suggest that there was actually a shout from a man during the moment of silence exclaiming “Trump 2020!” and that the audience reaction was to his statement. If one man managed to yell a political statement loud enough in Arrowhead that he made us all look racist on national television from reaction refuting his statement, I gotta say: that’s somewhat incredible. (And a bit difficult to believe in an outdoor stadium with 17k fans.)

As we all attempt to navigate what happened last night, there’s no great answer here that makes us look any better.

This ain’t it, Chiefs.

Mahomes said postgame that they wanted to show that they’re unified as a league and that they’re not going to let playing football distract us from what they’re doing and making a change in this world.

Picture yourself booing that. Envision yourself being THAT person, on the other side of people wanting the world to change for the better. They paid all that money just to make the city look like clowns for the foreseeable future. Even if it wasn’t booing and it was just people making noise, as some fans suggest, it’s still pretty dumb to do that during a call for silence.

This is after Mahomes and Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson donated meals to frontline workers in the city before the game.

Former Chiefs beat reporter BJ Kissel said this:

Former Chiefs offensive lineman Jeff Allen  had this to say:

Current Kansas City Star football reporter Sam McDowell, who wrote this almost immediately after the moment, tweeted this out:

McDowell spoke to Mahomes postgame, in which the superstar said he didn’t hear booing on the field, but saw videos of it once the game ended.

“I’m just—we wanted to show unity, and we wanted to show we’re going to come together and fight the good fight. I hope our fans support us like they do in the game every single day,” Mahomes said.

The fans he hopes support him are the people that only see him as a tool for entertainment. A prop for them to escape the harsh realities of the world they live in. How dare real-life infiltrate their safe space.

“Missouri” and “booing” were trending throughout the game and into the night. Here are some highlights:

Senator Josh Hawley responded to the tweet above, which can be found below:

Also, like, wow there’s some other disconnects that America noticed on our field:

And yeah, the individual shaming:

The Chiefs posted this midway through the first quarter but were called out on social media for editing the video to include cheers. Not a good look for the team or its fanbase. Some TV media outlets followed similar suit, by showing the unity moment without playing audio or acknowledging the horrifically embarrassing circumstances around it.

It overshadows the dominating performance Kansas City put on, as it won 34-20. Mahomes finished with 211 yards and three touchdowns and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire had 138 yards with a 27-yard rushing touchdown. And overshadowed is the word for it. Today should be a moment of incredible celebration for our team, our performance, and the future of the sport—at a time when America and our metro desperately need positive moments to shine through.

No matter what combination of explanations we have to point to in this series of fandom fumbles, Kansas City has to do better.

Categories: Politics, Sports